Self help guide to the Law

  Easy to use   Case and Subject matter index  and more











Technical Competence

Attitudinal Competence


Before the trial duties

Setting up the Courtroom for hearing
Maintaining Court Equipment

During the Trial







Duty to Record Accurately and Precisely

A Duty to be Punctual

Late Arrival or Early Leaving of Recorders

A Duty of Confidentiality

                                                                                                       GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE  

                                                                                                       RELATIONSHIP WITH LITIGANTS, LAWYERS AND THE POLICE                                                                     18

Conflict of interest

                                                                                                       DRESS CODE    

                                                                                                      GENERAL ATTIRE AND APPEARANCE     

                                                                                                       DUTIES OF OTHER COURT STAFF             

THE BAILIFF                                                                                




The judiciary and judicial Service of Ghana acknowledge with gratitude the collaborative partnership and unflinching support of the Royal Danish Embassy and in particular DANIDA, who provided funding for the publication of this handbook.

Their commitment to the advancement and improvement in justice delivery in Ghana is deeply appreciated.

Special thanks and appreciation go to the Honourable, Lady the Chief justice of Ghana, the chairman and the Board of jTI for their encouragement and support for the Project.

We also acknowledge the able assistance provided by Ms. Sandra Thompson, (Director, judicial Reforms and Projects), Fredrick Baidoo, (High Court Registrar), james Oppong Mensah (Deputy Director) and Sarah Norgah, (Court Recorder) all members of the small group that compiled this manual.

A word of appreciation goes to H/L justice Yaw Appau of the Court of Appeal who moderated the validation workshop and the team of Registrars who made significant inputs into the manual. Also H/L Gertrude Torkornoo and Ms. Sandra Thompson (Director, judicial Reforms and Projects) who did the final proof reading; jacob Soung,
Mabel Ahele, Fati Abukari, Hannah Edzii and Sophia Okine, all jTI staff, for their contributions to make this a reality.

The coordinating role of the judicial Training Institute in the drafting of this manual is also appreciated.

Of course, the Service is indebted to the Ag. Director of the judicial Training Institute, justice j. B. Akamba, justice of the Appeal Court, for the leadership role he played in the development of the manual and for his tireless effort to see this project to a successful end.


As part of the effort to make justice delivery more efficient, the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) on behalf of the Judiciary and Judicial Service of Ghana has developed this handbook as a guide to Court Recorders and Court Clerks in the performance of their official duties.

The handbook provides procedural guidance to Court Recorders and Court Clerks. The effort to produce a guide of this kind underscores the fact that the Registry and courtroom work constitute an important part of the work of the courts.

Even though the handbook may not embody every essential guideline covering all areas critical to the functions of a Court Recorder and Court Clerk, every attempt has been made to capture the most salient features or requirements of their work. It is hoped that the materials contained in this handbook will serve as a beneficial starting point and provide a basis for standardizing practice in the operations of the Registry and courtroom as far as the performance of Court Recorders and Court Clerks are

It is further envisaged that all Court Recorders and Court Clerks will diligently study and apply the guidelines contained in this handbook. The handbook must of course, be read alongside the Code of Ethics for Employees as well as other relevant legislation and regulations.

We trust that this handbook will serve a very useful purpose in our endeavor to improve justice delivery in the courts in Ghana.

Ag. Director, JTI


The efficient administration of courts is essential to the delivery of an effective justice system. judges and magistrates cannot undertake their duty of hearing and determining cases in a timely and efficient manner without the assistance of court
administrators. Court Clerks and Recorders are therefore an important part of courtroom administration.

This handbook is designed to guide court clerks and recorders on the expected conduct and competencies required to execute their duties with efficiency. It states the standard which courts clerks or recorders are required to meet and sets out the expected conduct.


Every clerk and recorder is expected to read and understand what is contained in this Handbook.

It highlights the special skills required of court administrators to meet the administrative needs of a modern court or bench.

It is expected that a court recorder/clerk keeps this Handbook as a reference point to assist with the execution of tasks as a recorder. Court clerks or recorders are encouraged to direct any question they may have to their registrar in the first instance and ultimately to the judicial Secretary, using the appropriate channels of communication and administrative procedures.

By accepting the appointment as a court clerk/recorder with the judicial Service of Ghana, one accepts the prevailing policies, regulations, terms and conditions of the judicial Service of Ghana.


A court recorder is an officer of the court who records and transcribes proceedings in court. He/she transcribes speech (evidence) into written form through the use of electronic equipment where available or in the case of the unautomated courts, manually from the judge's record book.


A court clerk is an officer of the court who provides direct support services to the judge/magistrate. He/she is responsible for all clerical duties when the court is in session. He also serves as a link between the registry and the court by providing the judge/magistrate with all material document/ information the judge /magistrate may need from the registry, for the discharge of his duties.


A court recorder has a duty to record all court proceedings accurately and precisely so as to ensure that the meaning is conveyed. To do so, the court recorder shall bring two (2) core competencies to bear on his/her performance. These are:

a.       Technical competence

b.      Attitudinal competence

Technical Competence

This involves the following:

a.       Excellent spelling and grammar skills

b.      A minimum typing speed of 40 w.p.m. with minimal errors

c.       A basic knowledge and awareness of legal vocabulary and legal procedure

d.      Good punctuation skills

e.       Computer literacy

f.       An understanding of courtroom management and case flow management

Attitudinal Competence

This competence entails:

1.      Good listening and hearing skills

2.      Excellent ethical standards and a good measure of integrity and conficidentiality (see Code of Conduct for Employees of the Judicial Service of Ghana)

3.      Ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines

4.      Punctuality to work in order to set or get the recording system ready before court starts.

In general, the court recorder must exhibit high ethical standards and behaviors to suit the unique nature of courtroom work and the competing demands on their job.


1.       Producing verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings.

2.      Ensuring a complete, accurate and secure legal record.

3.      Preparation and protection of legal records

4.      Typing official correspondence, court orders and decisions.

5.      Typing cause list.


The court clerk arrives at work early enough to set up the recording equipment and to test them before court work begins.

The court clerk also provides administrative support for the Court during the following three (3) phases:-

1.       Before the trial

2.      During the trial

3.      Post trial

Before the trial duties

Setting up the Courtroom for hearing

It is the duty of the court clerk to ensure that the courtroom is prepared prior to the commencement of work. This is done by ensuring among other things that:

i.The law books, record books and bench papers are well placed on the judge's/magistrate's bench.

   ii.   All materials essential for oath administration such as the Bible, Koran and the Cross are available in the court.

iii. The court's diary, exhibit stamp and all necessary court forms  (committal and default warrants, bail form, remand warrant etc.) are
available in the courtroom.

iv. All dockets for the day are available in the courtroom

v.  All participants are seated before the judge/magistrate is ushered into the courtroom.

vi. The cause list for the week is prepared and pasted on the notice board.

Maintaining Court Equipment

The court recorder shall take proper care of the equipment entrusted to
him/her. This is done by:

    i.    Ensuring proper use of court equipment, and

    ii.   Court equipment shall not be used for private purposes or undertakings.

During the Trial

This is the most crucial phase of the court recorders/clerk's work. The court recorder has the daunting task of ensuring that all proceedings are recorded, transcribed and released on time to enable the judge/magistrate to write judgments orders and rulings.


   i.    Enter the cause list on the recording equipment

ii. Click on case mentioned and press on the recording button

iii. Record all participants in the proceedings in the case. This includes the lawyers, parties, witnesses, prosecutors and accused as the case may be.

iv. Save at the end of each proceeding

v.After the day's work play back the recorded proceedings and type at the same time.

vi. Edit the typed proceedings and make necessary corrections
vii. Submit the typed version to the judge for verification.


1.The official language of the court is English

2.The court clerk's duties and responsibilities during the hearing are to:-

  i.    Call cases

ii. Swear the witnesses

III. Receive and mark exhibits after same have been tendered and. admitted or rejected.

iv. Fill in the bail form or remand warrant or committal warrant.
v. Keep order in the court - ensure that there is silence.

vi. Direct persons where to stand when they are called.

3.Ensure that cases are called in the order directed by the judge/ magistrate or listed on the cause list.

4.The Court clerk shall speak in a clear voice when calling cases, addressing the public, or swearing witnesses.

5.Cases shall only be called when the prior case has been dealt with and the judge/magistrate indicates that he/she is ready to have the
next case called.

6.All persons called before the court shall be directed by the court clerk in a clear voice to a pre-determined place within the courtroom. Persons shall normally be directed to the dock or to a seat immediately behind the Bar table. Seats behind the Bar table should be kept vacant for this purpose.

7.The court clerk/recorder shall follow the directions of the judge or magistrate in the control of the court during sittings.

8The courtroom must be silent and there shall be no distraction.

9.Young children should not normally be allowed in the court unless appropriately supervised.

10.Hats are not to be worn within the courtroom unless it is a cultural! Religious imperative for the person

11.Eating or chewing of gum is not allowed in the courtroom.

12.The court clerk shall not leave the courtroom unattended without the permission of the Judge or magistrate.

13. When the court clerk enters or leaves whilst the court is still sitting, the clerk shall bow to the bench.

14. At the end of the court sitting, the court clerk shall ensure that all warrants/documents are completed and noted, and the court dockets and files appropriately filed.

15. Adjourned cases shall be entered in the diary according to the date of hearing.

16. Unauthorized movement of dockets and record books are prohibited.
17. The court clerk shall ensure that all warrants are issued immediately and signed by the magistrate/judge and handed to the police/prison authorities before they leave the court.

18. All warrants that are hand written are to be written in clear legible manner.

19. Mobile phones shall not be used in the courtroom

20. There shall be no reading of newspapers in the courtroom

21. The court clerk must ensure that babies are not carried into the dock.

It is exceedingly important for the court clerk or recorder to carry out his/ her duties in a professional and expeditious manner with minimal error.

Accuracy and timeliness are therefore very essential qualities for the performance of the recorder's or court clerk's duties at the trial.



The Court Clerk shall at the conclusion of trial of any action, in accordance with order 36 rule 7 of CI47 make a certificate certifying the following:

a.Time spent on the trial.

b.Any Order made by the Judge under Order 38 rule 5 or 6 of C.I. 47.

c.Judgment given by the Judge.

d.Any Order made by the Judge as to costs.
The Court Clerk shall also:


i. Take charge of every document or object put in as exhibit during the trial.

ii. Mark or label each exhibit with a letter or letters indicating the party by whom the exhibit is put in or the witness by whom it is proved, and with a number, so that all the exhibits put in by J party or proved by a witness are numbered in one conservative series

iii. cause a list to be made of all the exhibits in the action, and any party may, on payment of the prescribed fee, have an office copy of that list and any documentary exhibit

iv. The list of exhibits when completed and any documentary exhibit shall be attached to the pleadings and shall form part of the record of the action.

v. For the purpose of this rule, a bundle of documents may be treated and counted as one exhibit.


After the judge/magistrate has given judgment in a case the, parties involved may apply for a certified true copy of the judgment and or the proceedings.

At this stage the recorder is expected, on the direction of the registrar to produce the copies. Where the case goes on appeal the Recorder is required to compile the appeal records. The court recorder must not demand or accept favours or bribes from the public in order to produce copies or records. Doing this undermines the integrity of the justice process.

The Role Of The Court Recorder In Preparing Appeal Records

After the parties have settled the record of appeal, the registrar assigns a court recorder the duty to prepare the record of appeal.

1.      In the automated court, the court recorder shall produce the proceedings already saved on his/her computer and compile same.

2.      In a non- automated court, the court recorder has the onerous duty to type all the proceedings recorded in ink by the judge/magistrate to meet the deadline for the submission of the appeal.

3.      After producing the record of proceedings the court recorder must read through and make the necessary corrections.

4.      Submit the required copies to the registrar for verification and certification.

Order 51 Rule 8 of CI 47, prescribe that the appeal record must be produced within thirty (30) days, after the appellant had deposited the prescribed fee to cover the expense of compiling and forwarding the appeal as well as the sum or security by bond for the prosecution of the appeal.


Trial on indictment is conducted at the High Court and it is done by jury. Cases which are tried on indictment are first sent to the District Court for preliminary hearing and upon receiving a Fiat from the Attorney General's Office. The District Court after the preliminary hearing, commits the accused person(s) to the High Court for trial.


When an accused is committed to the High Court, the registrar of the \District Court where the accused was committed shall compile and forward the following to the registrar of the High Court:

   i.    The Bill of Indictment

ii. The summary of evidence

iii. Recorded statement of the accused and his answers (in a Form)
iv. Recognizance of witnesses

             3.        DECISION/JUDGEMENT

The court upon hearing the totality of evidence led in support and against the charges would make findings of fact and apply the relevant law and come to a decision of either:

a.        Finding the accused guilty of the offence

b.        Finding the accused not guilty of the offence

            4.         CONVICTION/SENTENCING

When the accused is found guilty he is convicted of the offence(s) committed. The court will then find out if the accused is "known" or has previous conviction on a similar offence(s) before passing sentence. The court shall inform the convict of his right to appeal. (see Section 777 of Act 30/60). is important for a court to first find an accused person guilty, convict him, before proceeding to sentence him.

            5.         RESTITUTION ORDER: (R/O)

This is an order for the return of any item taken from the accused or any
other person in respect of the offence committed to the person who
appears to the court to be entitled to the property. The court may make
further directions as to the retrieved item(s). (See sections 745 to 7470f Act

            6.         ORDER FOR DESTRUCTION OF ARTiClES

The Court may make orders it considers fit for the destruction or for the
forfeiture and disposal of an article produced before it, which has been
used for the commission of an offence. (see Section 744 of Act 30/60 )



Punishment in its ordinary sense connotes making somebody suffer because he/she has broken the law or done something wrong. It can also mean sanction, such as fine, penalty, confinement leading to loss of certain rights or privileges.

This concept is deeply engrained in the views generally held even in contemporary times as the basis for imposing sentences after a trial in a court of law.


The district court tries criminal cases summarily. The kinds of punishment open to the district court on summary trial are; (See section 48 of the Court's Act 1993 (Act 459)

a.Fines not exceeding five hundred (500) penalty units

b.Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.

c.In exceptional circumstances provided under Section 48 (4) of Act 459 as amended by Act 620, the District Court may impose increased punishment.

The section 48(4) provides:

"Where under an enactment increased punishment may be imposed upon a person previously convicted of a crime, a District Court may impose the increased punishment or twice the maximum punishment prescribed by subsection (2) whichever is lesser"

Subsection 2 states:

"Subject to this section, a District Court, in the exercise of its jurisdiction in criminal matters shall not impose a term of imprisonment exceeding two (2) years or a fine exceeding five hundred penalty units or both the fine and the imprisonment".

d.Executing a bond to be of good behavior or to keep the peace.

e.Conditional discharge

f.Unconditional discharge


A juvenile is a person who is under 18 years who is in conflict with the law. Juveniles are given special treatment in order to reform them. In considering what penalty to impose on the juvenile for contravention of the law, the court is obliged to consider the best interest of the Juvenile.

The Court may consider the following options:

a.Diversion from the criminal justice system. - S.25 of Act 653

b.Discharge conditionally or unconditionally - See S. 29(1) (a) of Act 653

c.Release on probation - S.31 (1) of Act 653

d.Commit the offender to the care of a relative or a fit person - S. 29 (1) (d) of Act 653

e.Order parent/relative to pay fine damages or cost but subject to the parent contributed to make the commission of the offence by
neglect to exercise due care on the juvenile - S. 29 (1) & 30 of Act 653.

f.No court has power to pass a sentence of death on a juvenile offender - S. 32 (2) of Act 653.

g.A juvenile offender shall not be sentenced to imprisonment by a juvenile court or a court of summary jurisdiction - See S. 32 (1) of Act 653.


An accused person may be ordered by the court to pay compensation to the person injured by his offence. The court shall specify the amount to be paid.

This shall be taken into account in assessing damages in a civil action for the same injury. (see Section 748 of Act 30)

NB. Under no circumstance can compensation be paid out of a fine imposed for an offence. (see section 32(1) of Act 653)     .


Fines are paid into the consolidated fund.

a.The court may direct the accused person to suffer imprisonment where he fails to pay the fine.

b.The accused person shall be released on payment of the fine.

c.Fines shall not be excessive.(see Section 297 of Act 30)


Where a person having been convicted of an offence is again convicted of the same or similar offence that person is liable to:

a.       Twice the maximum imprisonment and twice the maximum fine.

b.      Where the first conviction was a misdemeanour, a conviction for a similar misdemeanour attracts an imprisonment of five (5) years at the discretion of the court.

c.       Two summary convictions for similar criminal offence also attract five (5) years at the discretion of the court. (Section 300) of Act 30/1960.

d.      A conviction of a person for a criminal offence be committed before attaining eighteen (18) years shall not be admitted in evidence against him - See s. 300 (4) of Act 30/1960.


Where an accused is convicted on more than one count, the court should impose separate sentences on each count. The court should make it clear which sentence relates to which count and whether the sentences are concurrent or consecutive. If it fails to do so, it is presumed that the sentences are concurrent. In the same vein, where a court passes a prison sentence on a person who is already serving one or more sentences of imprisonment, it must make it clear whether the fresh sentence is to be
served concurrently with or consecutively to the existing sentence or sentences.

Generally, where offences arise out of the same transaction, the sentences should be concurrent - e.g. driving recklessly and driving while disqualified on the same occasion.

A consecutive sentence arises where two or more jail sentences imposed on the convict are to be served in sequence. For example, if a convicted criminal receives consecutive sentences of fifteen (15) years and five (5) years, the total period of imprisonment to be served is twenty (20) years.

Consecutive sentences are normally imposed where an offender has used violence to resist arrest for another offence. (e.g. violence against a police officer).

Concurrent sentences on the other hand, arise where two or more sentences of imprisonment period are to be served simultaneously. For example, if a convicted criminal receives concurrent sentences of ten (10) years and five (5) years, the total period of imprisonment is ten (10) years. (See section 301 of Act 30)


Criminal charges or case terminates with the death of the accused person.


Where in a charge of unlawful entry/or intentionally and unlawfully causing damage and the issue of ownership arises the court must determine the issue of ownership first. [Okoe Vrs the Republic (1979) GLR 137]

2.      The Registrar is the certifying officer of the court.

3.      The work of the court recorder ends when the record of proceedings are submitted to the registrar.

4.      The Court Recorder may also be assigned other duties by the registrar.

Duty to Record Accurately and Precisely

A recorder has a duty to record or transcribe accurately and precisely what has been recorded by the judge or magistrate in the record book or has been captured by the electronic recording system as the case may be, so as to ensure that the proper meaning is conveyed. He/she should remain impartial, impersonal and emotionally detached from what is being recorded or transcribed.

A recorder must refrain from altering the court records either by the unauthorized insertion or removal from a given text. Similarly, a recorder must not make additions or deliberate omissions. He/she should endeavour to replicate the type of language being used in court whether it is simple, legal, formal or colloquial. A recorder must also restrict him/her self only to what is said, without changing the meaning based on his/her personal opinion or sensitivity.

A Duty to be Punctual

It is the duty of every court clerk/recorder to be punctual to work. Punctual attendance at work is required of courtroom staff to ensure that the court runs efficiently. Many people work together to enable the court to operate effectively and efficiently. The Court relies on you to be on time.

The court clerk/recorder should be at post at least 30 minutes before court commences and be available till the close of the working day, which is 4.00 pm.

Note the following:-

a.       Court work starts from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for all Court staff.

b.      Court staff must seek permission from the Registrar before leaving the office during official hours.

c.       Court staff shall inform the registrar at the earliest opportunity if they intend to be absent from work on an emergency.

Late Arrival or Early Leaving of Recorders/Clerks

If the court clerk/recorder arrives late without providing a reasonable explanation, it may result in disciplinary action being taken against him/ her.

If after this, further problems with attendance are encountered, the registrar will decide what further action will be taken in accordance with the laid down procedures of the Service.

A Duty of Confidentiality

A court clerk/recorder has a duty of confidentiality in order to protect the integrity of the court process.

Recorded proceedings saved on the computer are confidential material and no staff, litigant or lawyer should be allowed access to the recording system or any court material.

The court recorder should not disclose information or evidence or any material in a case to any person or group of persons.

Remember that the registrar is the certifying officer of the court. He is the primary source of information and therefore responsible for responding to enquiries concerning official requests for information.


A court recorder who has any grievance may channel it through the following command chain:

i. The Registrar

ii. The Magistrate/judge

iii. The Regional Registrar (if the issue is administrative)/Chief Registrar General

iv. The Supervising High Court judge

v. The Oversight judge

vi. The judicial Secretary

vii. The Chief justice


The court is an independent public institution. Any relationship with other court users should reflect this independence. All dealings with litigants, lawyers, the police and other court users, should reflect the fact that the court is independent.

The court clerk/recorder must work hard to ensure that the public perception about the courts is improved and that all litigants, lawyers or police prosecutors receive impartial treatment from the court.

The following procedures shall be observed:

i.Court clerks/recorders must work with litigants, police and lawyers in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

ii. Independence of the courts should not be compromised when working with the police, litigants and lawyers.

iii. Court clerks/recorders shall not be seen to be representing the interests of the police or lawyers or litigants.        

iv. Particular care shall be taken to ensure that no individual, the police, litigant or lawyer, is given preferential treatment by court staff over the other.

v.Lawyers and litigants are required to file documents and to act according to the court procedures and no special treatment shall be allowed to anyone.

vi. Court clerks should not allow the lawyers and litigants to go through court files.

vii. The use of court facilities by litigants, police and lawyers is not permitted except by express permission of the registrar who must be satisfied that it is for court related purposes and not personal business.

viii. Court staff shall not accept, under any circumstance, any gift or benefit from members of the legal profession, the police or litigants.

ix. Requests for any court information or material should be made to the Registrar.

x.Court Clerks and recorders should refuse any requests made to them for any unofficial release of court material, records or information and report such conduct to the Registrar, Magistrate/Judge.

Conflict of interest

The court clerk or recorder is advised to make the judge/magistrate aware of any conflict of interest such as when the recorder knows any of the parties or potential difficulty which is envisaged or may arise as a result of
their relationship with a court user so that the judge/magistrate may decide how to proceed.


The judicial Service has a strict dress code for all staff. Court clerks and recorders are expected to turn up to work in the prescribed judicial Service uniform.

The court room is a public forum. As such, courtroom staff are expected to dress neatly at all times especially during court sittings. All courtroom staff must therefore adhere to the dress code to ensure that they present themselves well to the general public so as to maintain the Service's reputation as a professional organization.


Court staff shall wear official clothes at all times.

Men are to wear:

i. Dark tailored trousers

ii. Black shoes

iii. A plain coloured shirt

iv. Tie

v. jacket

jeans, sandals, brightly coloured shirts and brightly coloured ties are not allowed in the court room.

Ladies are to wear:

I. Navy blue skirt or trousers in the prescribed style for junior staff

ii. Black skirt or trousers in the prescribed style for senior staff

III. A blouse in the prescribed style using the judicial Service print

iv. Navy blue or black jacket

v. Low heeled or flat closed toe shoes

vi. Court room staff may wear the judicial Service cloth in a traditional style on Fridays. Such styles must be modest and befitting of a court room.

vii. Open toed shoes, slippers, traditional sandals such as "Ahenema" or locally made rubber slippers known as "Charley Wotey's" are not allowed in the courtroom.

viii. Clothes should be clean, neat and well ironed.

ix. Hair styles should be modest, simple, neat and befitting of a courtroom.

x.ID cards shall be conspicuously worn at all times during any court hearings and during working hours for security purposes.



The bailiff is a key personnel in the justice delivery system. The work of the bailiff is so crucial that if not carried out professionally it will affect the smooth running of the court. The duties include:

   i.    Service of notices, summons, orders and other processes.

   ii.   On the request of the party, to explain the content of the process to them.

   iii. Documents shall be served personally on a person unless otherwise directed by the Court or the rules of the Court. A duplicate or attested copy shall be served on the party.

   iv. Service/execution shall not be carried out on Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas day or the day next before the Christmas day or a public holiday

v.When partners are sued in the name of their firm, service shall be
made on any of the partners

vi. Service on a body corporate shall be made to the proper address at its registered or principal office on:-

a.The Chairman

b.The President

c.The Head of the body

d.The Managing Director

e.The Secretary

f.The Treasurer or similar officer

vii. Service of document on a stool/skin shall be made on the occupant of the stool or skin or any of the following;



c.Linguist of that stool or skin or the regent (or caretaker where it is vacant).

viii. Service of a document on a family under customary law may be effected on the following:-

a.The head of family

b.The caretaker

c.A principal member of the family


ix. Service of document on a person in prison or detention, shall be served on the person in charge of the prison or place of detention e.g:

a.The warder

b.The guard

c.Service of a document on a person with disability, shall be on the father, the mother or a person with whom the disabled resides and this is deemed sufficient service


xi. The court may direct a document to be served on the administrative head of a Ministry or a department where a person is a Government employee

Process Book

There shall be a Process Book in which details of service and non-service shall be entered. The bailiff shall ensure that the results of service is entered in the Process Book as soon as practicable

Proof of Service

1.When a person to be served becomes violent or issues threats to the bailiff, the document shall be explained and left near the person.

2.There shall be certificate of service signed by the bailiff for all processes served.

3.Where there is non-service of process, there shall be certificate of non-service of process.



A member of the judiciary who hears cases




the District Court.










response given

by a








in a court of law to the charges or














Public officer







Ghana) who proffers charges against an accused



person officially and prosecutes the accused in













A party in an action may nominate an individual,



a firm of solicitors, a law centre or an advisory



centre to represent him/her in the action.




The punishment given by a court

of law after



finding an accused person guilty.





The surety is a person who accepts responsibity


if sombody else does not pay a dept or appear



in court.










If an appellant no longer wishes to proceed with


an action or appeal, he must make a formal



application in writing to withdraw the case or



make the application in person at the hearing.




The defendant is the person who

is sued and



must defend against the action.





This refers to a person who files an equitable



action, a non adversarial action or who files an













Most cases are adversarial in which the two



parties have opposing interests or claims. There



are however cases in which the parties have



some common interests and are not adverse to



one another. The labels plaintiff and defendant



do not properly describe or fit such parties.




The term Petitioner which is less suggestive of



adversity is used instead to describe the filing



party. In actions for dissolution of marriage, the



initiator of the action is the Petitioner.










The respondent is the person who defends
against either a non adversarial action or an
equitable action (where the initiator is called
the Petitioner) or is the party defending against
an appeal.

In an action for dissolution of marriage, the party
who initiated the action is Kofi, the husband
and is known as the Petitioner. The action is
for dissolution of his marriage to Mansa hence
Mansa is the Respondent i.e. the defending

























It is usually used to designate the opposing

V or Vs or Vrs.

party. E.g. Kofi Mintah Vrs. Ama Mensah.


Per Diem

Per day; by the day.







Usually used

in finance as for example "the


secretary was entitled to GH¢10 per diem out









relieving assignments.






Per Se

By itself.










The fact itself, without any further or other


explanation is enough.







The fact that an accident

has occurred shows


negligence per se.







Prima facie

On its face or at first sight.






Just by looking at the item in question, something


is obvious and does not require anything outside


it to make a conclusion.

Per se is an absolute










presumption that the item is sufficient, which


presumption can be rebutted.




Pro Forma

As a matter of form.







In Proportion or 'according to the rate' -It means

Pro Rata

the division shall be proportionate.

In other


words, each person shall share according to the


ratio that his or her share bears to the total.



Certiorari is an order issued by a Superior Court


quashing a decision or order of a lower court


or tribunal whose decision or order was made


without jurisdiction either because the court


exceeded its jurisdiction or lacked jurisdiction in


the matter.









Amicus Curiae

A friend of the court.







During the trial of cases

and especially when





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